Faces have always fascinated me, especially the expressions in eyes. I began drawing portraits of students and teachers at school, when I should have been attending to maths! The results speak for themselves. When bored, in my first jobs, I would draw my colleagues. Then my own family. All of these drawings were done with pencil or charcoal.
When we moved to Kenya my husband, Micky, bought me my first box of Rowney's pastels. It would have been a messy time of trial and error except that I had the opportunity to spend an hour with a pastel artist in Nairobi, who gave me some tips and direction that got me started with this wonderful medium.
Not only was I able to begin drawing children in pastel, but I was also inspired by the African wildlife, and was delighted to discover the lifelike effects I could attain using pastels, to achieve texture and reality in hair, fur and shiny noses. My work began to be in demand, and I was able to begin selling the Big Five portraits through the East African Wildlife Gallery.
Moving to New Zealand called for some flexibility in my artwork! Travelling through these glorious hills, forests and plains my eyes searched longingly for a glimpse of elephant, buffalo, or even monkeys in the trees. However, the glories of New Zealand are not to be found so much in the fauna, as in the landscapes, the trees, ferns, mountains and beaches.
Hence I began drawing pets - dogs, cats, horses - anything with a face! This has been an endless delight, with the amazing variety of colours, types, textures and temperaments keeping me fascinated and satisfied in my career.
Pastels are a beautiful medium to use, and easy to pick up with a few lessons. I have enjoyed passing on these tips through my workshops and private tutoring.
Sending my very best